adBlockCheck

Media Landscape Redefined By 24-Second News Cycle

Top Headlines

Politics

Ted Cruz Dressed For Campaign Rally By Swarm Of Loyal Vermin

INDIANAPOLIS—In what has reportedly become a daily routine on the campaign trail, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz stood alone in the center of his hotel suite Tuesday morning where he was carefully dressed and groomed by a swarm of loyal vermin.

How The GOP Plans To Stop Trump

In response to Donald Trump’s growing presidential primary lead, here’s how Republican Party leaders are ramping up efforts to prevent him from getting enough delegates to win the nomination outright.

It Unclear Why Thousands Of Loud, Chanting Trump Supporters Gathering Outside Arena In Iowa

‘There’s No Event Here, But They Keep Coming,’ Say Concerned Stadium Staff

DES MOINES, IA—Noting that the Republican presidential candidate had not announced any plans to visit Iowa since the state held its caucus 11 weeks ago, baffled sources reported Wednesday that it remains unclear why thousands of loud, cheering Donald Trump supporters are gathering outside the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Obama Caught Trying To Jump White House Fence

WASHINGTON—The White House was briefly placed on lockdown Friday morning after “an addled and emotionally distraught” President Obama was reportedly caught trying to scale the North Lawn fence, the third such attempt this year, Secret Service officials confirmed.

FBI Convinces George Clooney To Wear Wire During Clinton Fundraising Dinner

SAN FRANCISCO—In an effort to gather evidence in their investigation of the presidential candidate’s alleged misuse of her private email server when she served as secretary of state, members of the FBI reportedly convinced actor George Clooney to wear a hidden listening device Friday night while attending a campaign fundraising dinner with Hillary Clinton.

The Pros And Cons Of Voter ID Laws

Many states are pushing for stricter voter identification policies at the polls, while critics argue such requirements are unconstitutional and used as a means of voter suppression. Here are some pros and cons of voter ID laws.

Shimmering Immaculate Republican Candidate Appears Before GOP Officials

‘It’s Him,’ Stunned Conservative Leaders Mutter

WASHINGTON—Explaining how they froze in place and stared up at the miraculous vision in rapt wonder, members of the Republican Party leadership reported that the shimmering image of an immaculate, ideal GOP presidential candidate appeared before them for a brief moment Friday and hovered in front of the party’s headquarters in Washington.

Trump Catches Self Briefly Believing Own Campaign Rhetoric

‘Whoa, That Was Scary For A Second There,’ Says Candidate

BETHPAGE, NY—Admitting that he was overcome with terror after realizing what he had done, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told reporters he caught himself briefly believing his own campaign rhetoric during a rally Wednesday night.

Cow Ted Cruz Milking In Wisconsin Photo Op Only Giving Curdled, Foul Liquid

ALMA, WI—Saying the putrid stench of rancid dairy had caused numerous onlookers to gag and rush out of the barn, sources at Noll’s Family Farm confirmed Monday that only a thin stream of curdled, spoiled liquid was emerging from the cow that Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz was attempting to milk during a campaign photo op.

How A Contested Convention Would Work

With the Republican Party potentially headed to its convention without a clear-cut presidential nominee, The Onion answers common questions about how a contested convention would work.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Media Landscape Redefined By 24-Second News Cycle

ATLANTA—Last week, after a reported 65 million Americans learned of the bipartisan immigration bill with the breaking news report "Mexicans Stay," it became apparent that the much- ballyhooed 24-second news cycle had come into its own. But now some media experts are questioning the conventional wisdom that says the quickening pace of reportage is providing more news to more people faster.

The two-second segments may cause seizures in the very young and very old.

"Thinking back, the 24-hour news cycle seems glacially slow and simply incapable of covering our ever-changing world," Slate media critic Jack Shafer said. "Yet I can't help but think that segments that last less than four seconds are missing out on some nuance and context that the old 45-second pieces provided. When the media covers the story of a missing girl these days, are they reporting it with the depth and detail that they once did?"

CNN is widely credited with initiating the acceleration of the modern news cycle with the fall 2006 debut of its spin-off channel CNN:24, which provides a breaking news story, an update on that story, and a news recap all within 24 seconds. In addition to creating its groundbreaking format, CNN:24 broke many important stories with reports such as "Ford No Money Everyone Fired," "Iraq Bomb Kill Truck," "Country Hates Bush," "Dow High Now," and "Squirrel Water Skis."

"TV news reporting has always been about breaking the story down into only the barest, most salient facts, but the breakneck pace of contemporary reportage doesn't allow for that anymore," said Professor Robert Kubey, director of the Center for Media Studies at Rutgers University. "Today's ace reporter isn't the one with the best command of the language, but the one who can say 'Congress!' or 'Health care?' or 'Slam dunk!' with the most appropriate expression on his or her face."

Now, the rest of the industry has followed suit, in some cases surpassing the pioneering cable-news channel in the quest for faster, louder, and flashier news. Within a month of CNN:24's debut, MSNBC responded with its own 24-second news channel, MSNBC News Moment, which managed to pack in more than twice as many headlines.

A typical News Moment segment includes seven seconds of lead stories, four seconds of developing news, the "International Second," "Weather on the 00:00:13s with Bob Van Dorn," "The Fastest Four Seconds in Sports," a two-second top stories recap, and wraps with four seconds of mixed entertainment and lifestyle pieces. In larger markets such as New York and Los Angeles, this last portion may be preempted by local news.

The changes have had a ripple effect throughout the media, inspiring everything from the somewhat more in-depth newsmagazine format of CBS's 10 Minutes to the even more stripped-down Fox News Look. The latter repeats every 15 seconds, features more and simpler imagery, and forgoes the use of verbal language in favor of newscasters who gesture emphatically at video clips and hoot in approval or growl in derision, depending on the story.

The faster news cycle has also had a direct impact on newsmakers themselves. Speeches, public statements, and press releases have become markedly more brief and vague now that executives, politicians, and other public figures can pause to watch the recap of their speech in near-real time.

"When a sound bite is going to be a fifth of a second, you have to be much more careful with what you say," said Gerald Conroy, press adviser to Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. "We can't have our candidate say 'Not only do illegal guns kill people in the inner cities faster than anything else, but more young blacks die of gunshot wounds than any other group,' because the news will cut it to 'kill people' or 'blacks die.' That half-second quote is what the audience remembers, not your five-second explanation."

Journalists themselves are also feeling the strain of having to file more stories more quickly.

"When I started in this business, I used to have 45 minutes to really dig into a story and check my facts," said Ray Straatsma, a writer for usa2daybeta.com, the popular national newspaper's recently updated online version, whose pages refresh with new headlines more than 70 times per minute. "Now I'll get scooped by the competition if I don't get my story to the editor in three to five seconds."

While the changes have brought higher ratings and ad revenues to televised news, print newspapers have suffered greatly, due to the high cost of printing and distributing a new edition every 24 seconds.

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close